Posted on October 26, 2012
METAPAN, El Salvador – The LA Galaxy used essentially a reserve player lineup, to help its seeding in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals on Thursday night.
Jack McBean connected for a brace and Michael Stephens tallied the game-winner in the 80th minute to boost the Major League Soccer team to a 3-2 Group victory over Isidro Metapan.
Stephens scored after Pat Noonan fired a cross that bounded off the post and he put home the rebound for his second CCL goal. That helped the Galaxy to finish with the fourth-best group stage record.
Los Angeles (3-0-1, 10 points), which already had booked a berth in the knockout round, will take on fifth-seeded Herediano (Costa) in March. The Galaxy, who has clinched a spot in the MLS playoffs, will face the Seattle Sounders in the regular-season finale for both teams on Sunday that will determine the post-season seedings for that competition.
For the hosts, Nicolas Munoz scored twice, recording all of his team’s six goals in the group stage. He has the CCL scoring lead.
The Galaxy grabbed the lead McBean headed the ball off the underside of the crossbar and bounced barely inside the line past goalkeepere Fidel Mondragon in the 38th minute.
Paolo Suarez came close to equalizing four minutes later, but he put his attempt off the crossbar.
Munoz equalized in the 55th minute. He took a cross from Suarez at the penalty spot and a slightly deflected shot past goalkeeper Brian Perk.
The Galaxy regained the lead seven minutes later as Marcelo Sarvas chipped a free kick into the penalty area where it was headed across the goal mouth by Bryan Gaul. Pat Noonan missed the ball, but McBean did not, scoring just inside the six-yard box.
Munoz knotted things up in the 67th minute as he tallied off a free kick from the outside left edge of the area.
Categories: Central America, Champions League, El Salvador, North America, U.S.A.
Tags: CONCACAF Champions League, Herediano, Isidro Metapan, Los Angeles Galaxy, Michael Stephens, Pat Noonan